I’m not totally clued up on the Johannesburg or Durban front of fashion, but I can say Cape Town is definitely making it’s own buzz on the fashion scene.Cape Town is a coastal city, so things are wonderfully laid back and chilled. This however, is not what totally defines the fashion scene down here.
Cape Town fashionistas in my opinion are just as fresh, exciting and clued in on trends happening right now. Over the past 10 years, more and more international brands and shops are taking over our malls as the need for looking fabulous is growing more and more.
So where do Cape Town’s fasionistas shop?
Here’s a brief list of places I recommend to for locals and visitors to do their fashion shopping. There are more places in the Cape to visit, but this list is just an overview to suit all tastes and budgets in one post.
South Africans tend to prefer shopping in big malls with cool air-conditioning. Let’s face it, the summers here are hot as hell and it’s much safer. For this post I will just mention 3 very popular ones that are easy to access in the City and have the biggest fashion selection:
Canal Walk is the biggest mall in the Cape, and also hosts various entertainment facilities all under one roof. The stores also have the most stock and biggest variety of goods. You can find international brands such as Nike, Reebok, Topshop, Mango, Steve Madden and Forever 21. You can also find local brands such as Mr price and YDE. Almost every store you can imagine can be found here for all needs. There are also great discounts and sales every week.
How to get there: Along the N1 highway, take the turn off at Sable road
The V&A Waterfront
The V&A Waterfront is more than just a shopping mall in Cape Town. It’s a landmark. It hosts various indoor and outdoor activities all year round with music, dancing, restaurants for all tastes and awesome views of the Mother city.
The V&A has gone through lots of changes over the years, and was once a place you went shopping at only if you had a lot of money. However, that has changed, and you can find fashion from both local to international and caters for all budgets. This makes the Waterfront a place you won’t mind visiting regularly to get your shop on.
How to get there: Many options to get there once in the city centre!
Cavendish Square, is a smaller mall that resides in the Southern Suburbs not too far off from Access Park. You can find most big retailers and a collection of cute South African boutiques and stores.
How to get there: It can be reached off the M1 Main Road, M3 highway and M5.
Long and Kloof street, Cape Town
These two streets run adjacent to each other in the city centre. Long street is a popular street that is alive both day and night. There are many hotels and accommodation for tourists in Long and Kloof and many nightclubs and bars to provide ample entertainment throughout the night. There are many local South African fashion stores along the street. Items here are usually made in the Cape, and are in high quality and also come at quite a high price. However, you can find the most unique and on trend items in these boutiques.
How to get there: These 2 streets are in the heart of the city centre!
Greenmarket Square lies off Long Street, and is a little cobbled-stoned area full of souvenirs. There are excellent restaurants and bars surrounding the square and sometimes live music. Don’t forget to bargain.
How to get there: This little spare can be reached via Adderley street and Long street by walking.
Situated outside of the busy CBD along the M5 highway, Access Park is a popular outlet housed in an old factory district in the suburb of Kenilworth. Outlet stores offering huge discounts from up to 70% on popular international and local brands from clothes to shoes.
How to get there: It’s right along the M5 highway, take the Kenilworth turn-off
Situated in Ottery, not too far from Access Park, this small shopping complex offers low priced goods on EVERYTHING. It’s the equivalent to a $1 store on household goods without the retail price. They also sell fashion goods in big loads, but not at the best quality. A super quick fix on basic items for the short term. However, it’s not what you wear, it’s how you wear it! A true fashionista can pull off anything, so give this place a gander and see what you can make work!;)
How to get there: Take the M5, and turn off to Ottery
What about second hand stores/vintage shopping?
South Africa used have a quite a large industry in textile and clothes manufacturing about 20 years ago. Factory outlets and locally made products were huge as the country had to sustain itself due to export embargoes. For some reason, local textile manufacturing has stopped and most factories have scaled down or all together shut down. You can still find these goods, in most vintage and charity stores around the Cape.
Our second hand stores vary. In the CBD in Cape Town, they can be super expensive but with a really good selection. The charity-based second hand stores outside the city centre along the Main Road leading to the suburbs are way more cheaper,however their stock isn’t as fine tuned as the speciality stores. Looking in these can be fun though, but you usually have a hit or miss day, and it takes time to sift through the junk before you find a gem. Still, highly recommended on my list of fun fashion finds!!